Officials: 'Buy American' a balancing act

Jan. 18, 2009 at 4:53 PM

DETROIT, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A renewed push to buy American has emerged in Michigan since lawmakers with foreign automakers in their states blocked a federal bailout of U.S. car makers.

Some worry the push could backfire in Michigan since foreign automakers have also set up shop there, providing local jobs, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday.

"This is 2009," said James Epolito, the outgoing head of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. "Toyota and Nissan and others, we've done a lot to get them into the state of Michigan, and we certainly don't want any of them to feel unwelcome."

To help boost domestic car manufacturers, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm last month ordered a speedup of state purchases of cars made by domestic manufacturers for the state's car fleet.

"I certainly think that we want to support the home team," Granholm said Friday at the North American International Auto Show. "But we're also very grateful for the international automakers who have invested here because they're hiring our people."

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